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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

This Simple Vegetarian Pasta Dish Incorporates Clever Cooking Tips

For some reason, spaghetti salad seems to divide people. Is it because it’s so easy to picture a bowl of sloppy noodles doused with bottled dressing and mixed with limp vegetables? Or maybe the whole category appears about as glamorous as a home perm on a muggy day since the dish’s popularity peaked in the 1980s.

Given this bias, I will not refer to this meal as a pasta salad even if it is easy to prepare, can be eaten at any temperature, and travels well. The recipe consists of cavatelli, corn, tomatoes, and red onions.

The least salad-like aspect about it is that it requires almost little preparation. While the pasta (cavatelli or any other little, easy-to-fork form) is boiling, you may quickly heat the garlic and crushed red pepper in some excellent olive oil to If I want my pasta to be satisfyingly al dente, I prefer to toss whole kernels of corn into the pot of boiling water. Fresh maize is now plentiful and highly recommended. However, I’ve found that using frozen corn in the winter makes the dish just as tasty and much easier to prepare.

Tomatoes that aren’t in season may still be used successfully in this recipe. Tomatoes picked in the height of summer’s bounty will have the richest flavour and softest texture. Even in the depths of winter, when you’re seeking something summery to cut through the cold, grape tomatoes from any month of the year can do the trick when chopped and marinated with the onions and aromatics for a few minutes.

The tomatoes and garlic are given a deeper flavour and a creamier texture by the addition of ricotta. A supper without it will be lighter and brighter.

To truly pull everything together, however, don’t skimp on the herbs. Any mix of soft, aromatic herbs, such as basil, cilantro, dill, chives or even rocket, will have the proper type of sharpness to zip up the sweetness of maize and tomato; my personal favourite is mint for its refreshing menthol bite.

At that point, you could quit and that’s typically what I do. However, if you’re in the mood for the 1980s, a few slivers of sun-dried tomato or olive can do the trick just fine in the year 2023.

Jonathan James
Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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